January 2011

From the Editor

Building momentum through communication

On behalf of the College of Engineering, I invite you to read the first issue of Momentum for 2011. With the new year comes a fresh look for this electronic newsletter, but the purpose remains the same—to keep you informed of the latest news as the college builds a top-ranked engineering program. In this issue, you will read about how our students, faculty, and alumni are making positive impacts in Oregon and beyond.

We are working to produce research results that solve the world's most pressing problems. Toward this end, the college continues to recruit and retain world-class faculty and expand opportunities that give our students authentic engineering experience. We want to send our graduates into their careers equipped with the knowledge, skills, and passion to advance innovative solutions for future generations.

We appreciate your continued interest, support, and commitment to the Oregon State University College of Engineering.
Happy New Year!

Thuy T. Tran
Director of Marketing Communications
Oregon State University, College of Engineering

Solar collectors

New technology speeds cleanup of nuclear-contaminated sites
Members ofthe engineering faculty at Oregon State University invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that makes cleaning up sites with radioactive contamination faster, more accurate, and less expensive. A patent for this revolutionary radiation spectrometer was granted and the production of the device will begin soon by a newly created Corvallis-based company called Avicenna Instruments. Read more here and here.

Wave-energy buoys

Wireless devices for early detection of dementia
The worldwide prevalence of dementia is expected to increase by 85 percent in the next 20 years and triple by 2050. Engineering professor Patrick Chiang is collaborating with colleagues at Oregon State's Center for Healthy Aging Research to find solutions for early detection. The team is developing a noninvasive wireless device that can be worn on the body to continuously monitor vital signs that are important in observing aging and providing clues for intervention. More…

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Ocean wave researcher addresses Royal Society
At the invitation of the Royal Society, Robert Paasch, Boeing professor of mechanical design and director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, spoke in the autumn about the state of current wave research efforts at Oregon State University and the status of wave energy development in Pacific Rim countries. He also described the existing licensing and permitting process, potential environmental concerns, capabilities of Pacific Ocean testing facilities, and the region's vision of the future of wave energy. More…

See how Oregon State's wave energy research is being applied in our Industry section.

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Earthquake preparedness takes another step forward
Warnings from Oregon State University researchers in the mid-1980s about what's going on underground got Oregonians thinking about how to best prepare for the "big one." Over the years, scientists have identified the potential for massive subduction zone earthquakes, defined the faults that put Oregon residents at risk, supported efforts to strengthen building codes, and studied earthquake disasters all over the world to identify what makes the difference between tragedy and survival. Now, on Jan. 26, more than 24,000 Oregon residents will be participating in the "Great Oregon ShakeOut," an emergency drill that will help raise awareness and help with emergency preparedness. More about the shakeout. More about earthquake research.

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Program produces engineers prepared for multinational workplaces
The Atlantis program produces a new kind of engineer—one with a global perspective who can operate in the complex multinational workplace of the future. This unique collaboration between Oregon State University, Luleá University of Technology in Sweden, and Saarland University in Germany allows students to simultaneously receive bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering from Oregon State and materials science from Saarland University. More…

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Intel Bridge program enjoys a successful first year
With generous funds from Intel Laboratories, the College of Engineering launched the Intel Engineering Summer Scholars program in 2010 to increase retention of underrepresented minority students. Twenty students from each of the schools in the college were selected to take advantage of workshops, research presentations, networking opportunities, and academic coaching. “The most important thing I got out of this program is a network of people that I can trust,” said program participant and pre-electrical and computer engineering student Matt Kohlman. More…

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Initiative to assist crop insurance program and provide weather and climate data
An innovative climate and weather monitoring system developed by Oregon State's PRISM Climate Group will soon be used to help underwrite and verify claims of crop losses, both to improve services to farmers across the nation and prevent abuse in the $79 billion crop insurance program. Assisting in the effort is Oregon State's Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering, led by Cherri Pancake. Pancake is a pioneer in designing websites that simplify large-scale information delivery to users with varied backgrounds. More…

Faculty & Staff
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Community mourns Steve Adams
Steve Adams, development engineer in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME) Machine Shop, passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 5, 2011, from complications of pneumonia. A memorial service was held on Jan. 10 at 4 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University. Adams, who worked at the university since 1997, was instrumental in making the MIME machining lab one of the best in the country. Memorial contributions will start a machining lab operation fund in his name. Read more: Gazette Times, Life@OSU, OSU Daily Barometer

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Bioengineering senior receives Janet Richens Wiesner Scholarship
Marsha Lampi earned the prestigious Janet Richens Wiesner University Honors College scholarship for undergraduate women in science. Lampi, the highest ranked student in her class in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, is described by professor Skip Rochefort as the school’s most disciplined, organized, and productive student. “She has the talent to go a long way and the desires to make an impact on people’s lives,” said Rochefort. More…

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Alumnus credits top-quality Oregon State education for success in military career
Lieutenant colonel Mike Traxler's ('03, MS Industrial Engineering) military career has primarily focused on developing high-tech solutions for the battlefield. Traxler's current project, called the Joint Effects Targeting System, provides lightweight, precision targeting capability for handheld weapons. Traxler credits his success to the relevance of the industrial engineering concepts he learned at Oregon State, especially those relating to human-machine interfaces, lean manufacturing, and business management strategies (Six Sigma). More…

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Three smart entrepreneurs, one good product, and a bit of luck go a long way
The roots of Cloudkick, a company that provides award-winning cloud server monitoring and management tools, began at Oregon State University's Open Source Lab. Alex Polvi ('07, BS computer science), Dan Di Spaltro ('07, BS computer science), and Logan Welliver ('06, BFA graphic design) conceived, co-founded, and cashed out their successful venture in two years. More…

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Corvallis wave company enters testing phase
Columbia Power, a Corvallis firm created five years ago to commercialize wave buoy technology developed at Oregon State University, is developing a unique way to harvest energy from the ocean. The technology employs a rotary design to capture energy from motion in four directions instead of two and uses direct-drive systems to boost efficiency and reduce costs. Columbia Power has received $8 million from the U.S. Navy and the Department of Energy, and has raised about $2 million from angel and strategic investors. More here and here.

Making a Difference
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Engineering alumni help book record fundraising month
December 2010 was one for the fundraising record books. Donors contributed $6.7 million to the College of Engineering in one month! Overall, the college has raised $9.24 million in gifts and pledges toward its $13 million goal for the fiscal year. Since The Campaign for OSU began in 2004, the college's fundraising total has reached $135 million. That's 84 percent of the college's $160 million goal, with almost three years to go. More…

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Oregon utilities fund new engineering scholarships at OSU
New scholarships for Oregon State University engineering students from rural Oregon towns are funded by two of Oregon's major electric utility companies. Pacific Power and the Portland General Electric Foundation recently gave $25,000 each for scholarships that will help students at the College of Engineering achieve their academic goals. More…

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$1.1 million endowment enables program expansion, honors Pritchett
The Construction Engineering Management program will benefit from recent contributions totaling $1.1 million, enabling the college to almost double the endowment of an existing faculty chair and add junior faculty. Hal Pritchett, a civil and construction engineering emeritus faculty member who founded the program, will be honored through renaming the chair. More…

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Oregon high school Students to compete at Oregon State
One of the qualifying events for the First Tech Challenge, a robotics competition for Oregon high school students, will be held Saturday, Feb. 19, at Oregon State University. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kelley Engineering Center on the Oregon State University campus. The program is designed to help students gain skills and interest in science, technology and engineering. More…

Questions or comments about Momentum? E-mail Editor@engr.oregonstate.edu

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